Airbnb bookings surge in regional areas

New data from Airbnb suggests Australians are driving a resurgence tourism for the domestic sharing economy, particularly in regional areas.

While cautioning early days, Airbnb claims that their data shows strong signs of  recovery, with “intrastate bookings in some regions exceeding those in the same period in 2019”.

As same-state travel begins to open up, Australians are booking and planning domestic holidays like never before, with new data (17 – 23 May) showing “a surge in future travel in just one seven-day period alone.”

The data states: “Same-state bookings in New South Wales jumped last week following the announcement of easing travel restrictions, up 488% month-on-month and 15% compared with the same week in 2019*, while Australia-wide bookings in New South Wales are already nearing pre-COVID-19 levels, recovering to almost 90% of bookings in the same week last year**.”

Moreover, signs suggest regional areas are set to welcome significant numbers of intrastate visitors, with 75 percent of bookings for places outside of capital cities helping valuable tourism dollars to flow to local businesses across hard-hit communities.

Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s Country Manager for Australia, said: “These positive early signs of domestic travel getting ready to make a comeback is a welcome relief for the local families and communities who depend on Australia’s tourism industry.

“People are excited about being able to get back out there and immerse themselves in all the things that make Australia so great – including our nation’s incredible natural beauty and famously friendly people. We’re particularly seeing people searching for unique and affordable getaways that will give them a really authentic local experience.

“Just as it has driven economic growth in the past, domestic tourism will play an enormous role in driving economic recovery, especially in the regions.”

Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory are also seeing significant increases in same-state travel, compared with the same week last year*. Victorians have also been busy booking trips for the back half of the year. In Queensland and Tasmania, search data suggests these states are also set to record a strong resurgence in bookings once restrictions ease in line with local conditions.

Ms Wheeldon added that it was “crucially important that people continue to listen closely to government advice and strictly follow the rules”.

“To date, the community has been doing the right thing, for which we’re very grateful, and we urge everyone to make sure they keep following the rules and listening to government advice,” she said.

Data for the week 17-23 May.

*Data is for same-state domestic bookings.

**Data is for Australia-wide bookings in NSW.

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